The International Rugby Board has expressed its gratitude to Professor Mick Molloy for his leading and significant contribution to the process of global player welfare implementation.
Professor Molloy is standing down as the IRB’s Medical Officer at the end of 2010 after the completion of his four-year term and does so after overseeing the implementation of a raft of global strategies that have enhanced medical practices from community to the elite level.
As Medical Officer Professor Molloy has overseen a major restructuring of the IRB’s medical policy making processes, introducing an annual Medical Conference and developing a collaborative approach to Player Welfare Management which has resulted in the establishment of specialist Medical Working Groups to tackle some of the biggest issues, including concussion, emergency care and catastrophic injury management and reporting.
Other leading policies that have benefitted the global Game include global best-practice playing, coaching and officiating education through IRB Rugby Ready, injury surveillance at all IRB Tournaments, best-practice cross-Union injury surveillance guidelines and the development of global multi sport concussion guidelines as co-author of the Zurich Consensus Statement on Concussion. Professor Molloy has also overseen the delivery of guidelines for Infectious Diseases, Asthma, Athlete Cardiology and Heat Management.
IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “The welfare of players at all levels of the Game is of critical importance to the IRB and its 118 Member Unions and collectively we must seek to ensure the highest possible standards for best-practice strategies to reduce the risk of injury and ensure that players always come first.”
“Professor Molloy has been instrumental in restructuring the IRB’s medical processes and global policy implementation and he is rightly recognised as a leader in his field. His achievements, particularly in the key areas of global injury surveillance and the development of cross-sport concussion guidelines, have significantly benefitted Rugby and the wider sporting family.”
A former Ireland Rugby international and advisor to the Irish Rugby Football Union, Professor Molloy was a member of the IRB Medical Advisory Committee before being appointed the Governing Body’s first ever consultant Medical Officer in 2007. While working with the IRB Professor Molloy continued his clinical practice and lecturing activities and working with leading medical experts to co-author a number of expert papers.
Reflecting on his contribution, Professor Molloy said: “I am honoured to have served as the first consultant IRB Medical Officer. It has certainly been a very challenging role, one that has aimed to achieve the highest standard of care for all players at all levels, but it has also been a very rewarding role working with Unions and other International Federations on a range of player welfare matters.
"I leave with a new collaborative platform in place through the establishment of expert working groups which ensures that the IRB and its Member Unions can collectively develop key medical strategies that address some of the biggest issues faced by the Game.”
Lapasset added: “Professor Molloy leaves the IRB with the foundations in place for his successor to continue to drive forward leading player welfare and medical policy. On behalf of the International Rugby Board and the global Rugby family I would like to thank Professor Molloy for his vision and dedication to the development of policies that have positioned Rugby as a leader in global sports medicine strategies.”
The recruitment process for the IRB Medical Officer position will begin in January 2011, while in the interim the work undertaken by the specialist IRB Working Groups on key areas such as concussion will continue.
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